SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise by Gary Davis –

2 May

This is the continuation of a series of posts on my blog to promote the e-book SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA – which is a Guide to… the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise… This is a guide book that will give you the kind of insider’s knowledge that you might wish you had before you made your decision to move or not move to Costa Rica.

Every blog entry will start with the appendix because that way when you read whatever else I have posted it will 1. make sense (I hope) and 2. give you a point of reference in case you realize you need to read something that is “archived”.  Because if you read every blog I enter you will have eventually read the whole e-book and won’t need to order it for $2.99 from Amazon or B&N.  All you’ll be missing are the photos that show what you might expect if you choose to undertake the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise.

As I said, I will start each blog with the appendix so that the reader can reference important elements of the book to archived blogs.  The page numbers shown are the actual page they appear on in the book. Here is the Appendix – and these are all the nuggets and their corresponding page numbers:

Definition of “nugget” – 3, Doors & Windows – 7, Manufacturing – 11, Real Estate – 11, Shipping – 12,Maps, – 15, Corporations – 20, Traffic Cops – 23, Know basic Spanish – 30, Panama – 33, Roof Line – 42, Plumita Pacifica Web Address – 65, Getting the Best a Tico has to Offer – 84, Power Surges – 86, Liberia Airport – 88, Attitude – 104, Cellular Phones – 117, Newspapers – 18, Your Embassy – 137, Buying & Selling Cars – 154, Drive Slowly – 161, Arriving at the Airport – 168, Wages & Prices – 170, Undertows – 226, Life Ring – 230, Avoiding Customs Confiscations – 234, Driving Rules – 236, Walking in the City – 249, Purchasing Anything – 258, Buying Fresh Produce – 263, Bus Tickets – 272, to “Bribe” or not to “Bribe” – 313, Traffic ticket Prices – 315, Exiting the Country – 337

And just in case you’re interested… here’s the table of contents:

Introduction and Preliminary Comments – 3, My First Trip -15, Lost in Guanacaste – Playa Coyote – 20, Trust with a Child – 26, Lost in Panama – 29, Attorneys – 35, My Contractor – 38, My Security Guard – 61, My Toldo – 67, Getting a Land Line Phone and Internet – 76, A Cellular Phone – 115, A Country Doctor – 124, A Lesson Well Learned – 130, A Little Green Frog – 138, A Little Brown Frog and a Bat – 146, A “Murphy’s Law” Day – 153, Driving in the Rainy Season – 161, Drunk Drivers – 174, Fiesta del Toros – 185, Getting a Drivers License – 195, INS and a Minor Accident – 203, Lifeguards – 224, Passing through Customs – 232, Rules of the Road for Tico Driving – 236, San Jose – 241, Shopping and Making Tamales – 250, Taking the Bus – 272, Turtles in My Front Yard – 281, Untitled – 287, When it Rains it Pours (sometimes) – 294, She Found My Lot – 307, My First Traffic Ticket – 312, Ticket # 2 – 316, My Radar Detector – 318, Ticket # 3 (after a slow speed chase) – 324, A Christmas Parade – 338, Sex (the truth about ticos) – 343, Photo Album – 347, Appendix – 374

chapter 2


I had been to several of the Southern beaches, on the typical wild goose chase that the realtors in C.R. seemed to relish in putting me through.  I simply wasn’t finding what I wanted and had heard Playa Coyote in the southern part of the Peninsula Nicoya in the province of Guanacaste was nice and undeveloped (you could say that again).  Peninsula Nicoya is a large peninsula maybe 1/64 the size of the Baja peninsula.  I didn’t know any realtors there so decided it would be great to just take a look and for once not be frustrated by having to deal with a prostitu… err… realtor.  (For clarification, prostitution is accepted in C.R., realtors and prostitutes don’t need licenses and neither is controlled.)

It is recommended that you form a corporation and the corporation buys the property.  But that is the small part of the challenge.  The larger part is all the laws, rules and regulations that accompany the type of property.  Is it titled or is it a concession?  Be careful to ask more questions than you might think necessary.

There was only one small problem.  I was driving a 4-wheel drive that sometimes started right away and sometimes made me think it was never going to start (I found out later the problem was with the key, not the car).

If you have the best map you can get of C.R. it still won’t be accurate.  I think it might be because they add and subtract roads at will.  Not the government, who is supposed to be in charge of the roads, but people who own (or think they own) land.  And if there is more than one way to get to a place, which there sometimes is, one way may be passable, another not, and you have no way of knowing and for that matter the locals may not know either, because conditions can change season to season and especially during the rainy season.  And of course the government is completely clueless and is incapable of keeping up with the myriad of dirt roads that squiggle all over the place.

So my map showed a couple of choices, I got to the place where I needed to make a choice, stopped a local, showed him the map, made a choice.  Wrong choice (or maybe not, because I wouldn’t have had this adventure if I’d made a different choice)!  I take off.  I come to a place where there’s an intersection that’s not on the map (not unusual).  I’m stopped, trying to decide whether to take my chances or go back to square one when a red Toyota pickup comes by and takes what looked like to me to be the most likely choice.  It’s a beautiful country, it’s a beautiful day, I’d been lost other times and things always worked out. The people are very helpful and friendly and it doesn’t look like I could be lost for more than a half hour anyway.  And I figured I’d stay close behind the Toyota so if I really needed help I could honk.

No problem staying close because what started out as a narrow road soon became nothing more than a cat track and I never got out of second gear.  After about an hour of winding around through these beautiful mountains and almost running off the road a few times because it’s very difficult to keep up with someone and look at the beautiful vistas too, I began to realize I may never make it to P. Coyote.  No problem.  There hadn’t been too many other cat tracks crossing this one so I knew I could back track out of there.  About another half hour goes by and we come upon another intersection and there are a couple buildings there.  The Toyota stops.  They were aware that I had been following them so when I pulled up alongside to ask for help they had this amused, “what the f… is this crazy gringo doing way out here”, look on their faces.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: